I dreaded it driving back Saturday from the mountains. It was warm there but the nights were cool, and it was very comfortable for the most part. I would get hot during the middle of the day if I was out hiking up on a ridge where there was no water nearby. Otherwise, the mountain streams and the canopy kept the air cool and moist. I felt nothing as far as temperature was concerned. It was perfect. I don’t like to feel hot … or cold. Either end of the spectrum is uncomfortable for me.
One of my husbands – can’t remember which – used to kid me because my tolerance range for temperature was very narrow. And, if I was too hot … or too cold … I would get so frustrated and proclaim I AM FREEZING TO DEATH!!! or on the other end of the spectrum I AM BURNING UP!! The bad thing is I’m outdoors a lot. So, I have this constant focus on what to wear.
I have a formula I use to dress for running in the winter. If it’s 40 or above, I wear one long-sleeved layer and capris. If it’s 30 or above, I wear two layers above my waist and one full-length layer on my legs. With each 8-10 degree drop, I add an additional layer on top and one on the bottom. It’s a great formula. I know exactly when to start wearing a hat and gloves. The summer is a different story. I know it’s going to be hot, but I can’t take off layers. I know there are races where they do it, but I just think it would be really painful and embarrassing to run nekkid. And, honestly … after you are nekkid, where do you go from there? If I had my druthers, I’d rather be cold than hot. I can do something to warm up.
I watched the temperature gauge all the way back down from Georgia. It didn’t climb much. For some odd reason, cooler weather struck the south on 4th of July weekend. I actually remember last 4th of July being rather pleasant, so I found myself dreaming that maybe it doesn’t get as hot down here as I would think. The delusion made me feel better.
On my list of take-home souvenir lessons from my vacation, I said I was going to try to stay cool this summer. I realize that I am “fire” due to my Pitta constitution, so I’m going to try to ward off the outside heat however I can. It’s hard for me because I don’t like ice. I always order water without ice in restaurants. I don’t like that really cold feeling in my mouth. I don’t like swimming either. So, the things that keep people cool don’t appeal to me, but I said I’d do something different this year. I came home this afternoon and was ready to take a nap. Due to my newly launched budget cuts, I have turned the thermostat about 5 degrees warmer than normal. I laid down with my cats and after a few minutes, I jumped up, frustrated. “I AM BURNING UP!!!” I screamed to no one. I went down the rabbit hole about how this summer was going to be horrible…. how was I going to handle this … I hate this place ... and I turned the temperature back down. I suddenly remembered that peppermint essential oil is cooling for hot flashes. Maybe it would help with plain old heat? I applied a drop to the back of my neck and to my inner elbows. In a couple of minutes, I could feel the icy coolness in those areas, and I drifted off to sleep. I woke up ….. believe it or not…. COLD!!! Aha!! I can use peppermint oil to combat heat.
When I feel too hot, I feel suffocated. I don’t know if everybody feels this way, but I feel like I’m trapped in a very small space and can’t move or breath. It’s sort of like being claustrophobic for me, and when I get claustrophobic, I panic. I think I’m going to die. I’ve learned to talk myself through it, but being hot is not fun for me. I don’t even like to go to outside parties anymore in the summer unless there’s a pool or somewhere to escape. The heat is the main reason I never wanted to come back to these hellish summers although I think Memphis was pretty bad, too. I can usually get through June because it’s fairly moderate except for a day here and there, but once July comes prancing in, I start doing the math. I’m already doing it here. Okay… it’s July 4th. There’s 4 weeks in July and 5 in August and probably another 4 in September. At least in Memphis, it would level off a bit after August. Yesterday, I got to hyperventilating as I was doing the math. OMG!!! I can’t make it that long!! How am I going to endure this??? I have to stop doing the math. I have to find another solution, or I will go crazy.
My friend JoAnn told me I needed to start drinking ice in my water in the summer. I resist it, but today I drank a glass of ice water. It actually did help cool me down. Then, I decided to take advantage of these snowball stands around here. I haven’t had a snowball in over 30 years. I don’t like ice!! Why would I get ice with sugar syrup poured over it? But, JoAnn gave me a recommendation of a good one here in Baton Rouge, and I went over to give it a try. There were 100 flavors on the board. I started hyperventilating on the hot concrete about what flavor to try … King Cake … Blueberry Cheesecake … watermelon … root beer … or peach. I settled on watermelon until I spotted another childhood favorite icy treat – dreamsicle. I can remember the ice cream truck rolling down Hunstock Road and running in to get some quarters from Momma for ice cream. I loved dreamsicles. So, that’s what I got.
I’m now home sitting on my front porch, and it’s downright comfortable. I know it’s hot, but I think the snowball is cooling me down a little as a counterbalance. Maybe there’s something to this. So, today I’ve found a couple of things I can do to stop that suffocating panic when the heat rolls in and sweat starts pouring down my forehead. I also remembered I can take an ice pack and put it on the back of my neck. At races, they hand out cold towels for the same reason, and it really does help. I still can’t wait until October when I don’t have to worry about this for another 9 months. I pray that my A/C keeps working well, the supply of peppermint oil is stable and the rain keeps falling to keep the temperatures down. Please … please …. please … don’t get too hot, Louisiana.